With flames and engrossing theatrical grandeur, Papa Emeritus IV and the Nameless Ghouls delivered a spectacle on this highly anticipated Re-Imperatour opener with Amon Amarth.
Text, Photographs by Katie Lewellyn (@katielewellyn.photo) at the
Concord Pavilion in Concord, CA:
After a successful run of Imperatour shows in the summer of 2022 alongside Mastodon and Spiritbox, Ghost have brought the regal festivities back with Amon Amarth as part of a North American Re-Imperatour, the likes of which kicked off at the Concord Pavilion earlier this month. As customary, the fandom came out in full force and attendees adorned in signature papal face paint and regalia filled the venue early on with high anticipation.
Sweden's Amon Amarth are on a high in their own right with a successful string of arena level performances late last year, a charging Heidrun EP, and an acclaimed full-length record, The Great Heathen Army (2022). Their stage presence reflects it and sports large scale viking warriors looking down upon the crowd, electrifying boats in the background shadowing over a viking helmet from which the drummer plays, all the while a soldier engages in combat amidst the thunderous performance. Like the headliners, Amon Amarth deliver theatre, not just a playthrough.
Primed with roaring melodic death metal, the thousands in attendance were brimming with enthusiasm for the Ghost performance that came next. Opening with the crescendo of the Impera (2022) opening sequence, Imperium & Kaisarion, the band built upon an anticipation that erupted with confetti canons and a joyous set of Nameless Ghouls commanding the stage.
Papa Emeritus IV stepped forth, addressing the loud Concord Pavilion in appreciation as a collection of tracks from across the band's celebrated discography raged on. Rats, Faith, Absolution, Ritual, Year Zero, Cirice, and more standout offerings elevated the atmosphere built from a crowd chanting in unison.
The vibrant groove of the Ghouls adds flavor to the festive performance, which only seems to approve with each passing album cycle. Ghost's stained glass backgrounds always provide a welcome sight characterized by energetic showmanship, smokey stages, Tobias Forge's outfit changes, and audience engagement. The groovy Dance Macabre and fan favorite Square Hammer concluded a career-spanning night on a high mark, putting a great finishing touch on a tour run that is set to be remarkable once more. Ghost remain at their performing prime, delivering an audiovisual spectacle worth the price of admission time and time again.
Re-Imperatour Dates (Tickets):
Aug. 11 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Aug. 12 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
Aug. 14 – Clarkston, Mich. @ Pine Knob Music Theatre
Aug. 15 – Chicago, Ill. @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Aug. 16 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 18 – Syracuse, N.Y. @ St. Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
Aug. 19 – Mansfield, Mass. @ Xfinity Center
Aug. 20 – Bridgeport, Conn. @ Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater
Aug. 22 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park
Aug. 23 – Burgettstown, Pa. @ The Pavilion at Star Lake
Aug. 24 – Bristow, Va. @ Jiffy Lube Live
Aug. 25 – Camden, N.J. @ Freedom Mortgage Pavilion
Aug. 27 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Ascend Amphitheater
Aug. 29 – Simpsonville, S.C. @ CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
Aug. 30 – Jacksonville, Fla. @ Daily’s Place
Aug. 31 – Tampa, Fla. @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Sept. 2 – The Woodlands, Texas @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
Sept. 3 – Austin, Texas @ Germania Insurance Amphitheater
Sept. 5 – Irving, Texas @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Sept. 7 – Albuquerque, N.M. @ Isleta Amphitheater
Sept. 8 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre
Sept. 11 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Kia Forum ^
Amon Amarth Photo Gallery
Ghost Photo Gallery